“Alert today, alive tomorrow.” That was the theme for the downtown Fort Lauderdale bike safety event.
City officials closed NE 3rd Avenue to hold the event and to help to raise awareness about the risks faced by bicyclists in our area, especially our young ones. According to the Examiner, the event was a part of the Florida Department of Highway Transportation’s (FDOT) effort to teach bikers safe traveling habits.
The event logo featured a pedestrian about to cross a dangerous intersection as an irresponsible driver approached. The slogan for this campaign was “Safety doesn’t happen by accident” and it seemed fitting as the state of Florida has continuously been ranked as the most dangerous state in the country for pedestrian and bicyclist accidents.
When talking specifically about pedestrian accidents, areas in the state of Florida hold the top four spots in the nation. Included in these dangerous metro areas are Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, Jacksonville, Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater and Orlando, according to Transportation for America.
Our Fort Lauderdale bicycle accident lawyers understand that more than a quarter of all residents over the age of 16 are riding bicycles to get some exercise. Another 40 percent of them are riding for health reasons and more than 35 percent are riding for recreational purposes, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. Regardless of the reason for your riding, it’s important that you’re riding safely.
By law, drivers are required to keep their vehicles at least 3 feet away from bicyclists and pedestrians at all times. Unfortunately, not many drivers in the area even know about this rule. That’s why it’s up to us, as bicyclists and pedestrians and as eco-friendly travelers, ti protect ourselves out there.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were close to 620 bicyclists killed in traffic accidents across the country in 2010. In addition to these deaths, there were another 50,000 who were injured in traffic accidents. These fatalities accounted for about 2 percent of all of the fatalities that were recorded throughout the year.
Bicyclists and pedestrians are reminded to make sure they’re visible to passing motorists. Make sure you’re always crossing the street at crosswalks or at street corners. When crossing the street, make sure you make eye contact with drivers beforehand. You want to make sure that they know you’re there and that they’re going to stop.
In the state of Florida, there were close to 100 bicyclists killed in 2010. These accidents accounted for more than 3 percent of all of the traffic fatalities recorded throughout the year. Many of these accidents could have been prevented — and that’s what the City of Fort Lauderdale is doing — raising awareness to help to ensure the safety of bicyclists and pedestrians.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a bicycle accident, contact Richard Ansara at 954 761-3641 or toll-free at 877-277-3780 for a free initial consultation.
More Blog Entries:
Bicyclist Fatalities on the Rise in Florida: Broward of the Worst, Broward Injury Lawyer Blog, December 15, 2012
Bicycling Along Broward Trails Just as Dangerous as Street Biking, Broward Injury Lawyer Blog, October 10, 2012